CC Nissan's Khneisser makes good T2 progress on second stage in Abu Dhabi
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 2
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, April 2-7
For immediate release
Monday, April 4th, 2016
NISSAN’S KHNEISSER MAKES GOOD T2 PROGRESS ON PUNISHING
SECOND LOOP STAGE AT ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE
· Saudi’s Yasir Saeidan leads T2; Qatar’s Jarman and Hussein third and fourth
ABU DHABI (UAE): Abu Dhabi-based Lebanese driver Emil Khneisser consolidated his second position in the T2 standings at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge after the second desert selective section that looped around the Qasr Al-Sarab Desert Resort in the UAE’s western region of Al-Gharbia on Monday.
The Nissan Patrol Y62 driver and Russian navigator Alexei Kuzmich began the day second in the T2 category for Series Production Cross-Country Vehicles and reached the stage finish in a time of 5hr 32min 09sec to hold second in T2 and an unofficial 22nd overall.
Running with support from Nissan Middle East and Al-Masaood Automobiles, Khneisser is bidding to win the FIA T2 World Cup and go one better than the second position he earned behind Nissan-backed team mate Denis Berezovskiy in 2015.
Khneisser began the second selective section of 278.90km in confident mood after finishing the first of the major desert stages in 18th overall and second in T2 behind the Saudi driver Yasir Saeidan. Further Nissan Patrols, driven by Mansoor Al-Helai, Joseph Rosso, Adel Hussein and Mohammed Al-Harqan were classified in fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh in T2.
Overcast conditions and a little rain were prevalent at the stage start. Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah continued to set the pace in the overall standings, but the battle for supremacy in T2 intensified throughout the day.
Khneisser retained his strong position at the head of the field behind Saudi’s Yasir Saeidan, but a good stage performance pushed Qatar’s Adel Hussein into T2 contention in his Nissan Patrol and he slotted into fourth behind fellow Qatari Jaralla Jarman.
Several local drivers are also taking part in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge at the wheel of Nissan Patrols entered in the T1 category for modified cross-country vehicles. Matar Al-Mansoori reached the stage finish in 16th overall to hold 18th in the overall rankings and Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Al-Feraihi was 17th on the stage in his Patrol and holds an unofficial 19th in the general classification.
Teams tackle the third of five desert selective selections through Al Garbia on Tuesday before the event finishes at Yas Marina on Thursday, April 7th.
2016 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – FIA T2 positions after SS2 (unofficial @ 16.50hrs):
1. Yasir Saeidan (SAU)/Sébastien Delaunay (FRA) Toyota Land Cruiser 10hr 18min 35sec
2. Emil Khneisser (LEB)/Alexsei Kuzmich (RUS) Nissan Patrol Y62 10hr 26min 13sec
3. Jaralla Jahman (QAT)/Fares Allouh (JOR) Toyota Prado 10hr 49min 03sec
4. Adel Hussein (QAT)/Hakam Mohamed Rabeia (EGY) Nissan Patrol 10hr 51min 41sec
5. Mansour Al-Helai (ARE)/Suhail Al-Ali (ARE) Nissan Patrol 11hr 02min 26sec
6. Jaroslaw Kazberuk (POL)/Robert Szustkovski (POL) Ford Raptor 11hr 42min 09sec